(Reading, PA)---After ten years, the iconic look of Baseballtown is changing. In conjunction with the Reading Phillies, Baseballtown Charities has announced a re-branding of the organization, including a newly designed logo and character. The re-branding will help better represent the organization's spirit and identity, while also making a transition to a bold, new era.
"When I arrived in Reading 25 years ago the hot dogs were a hallmark at Reading Municipal Memorial Stadium. Now, 25 years and a few million hot dogs later at FirstEnergy Stadium in Baseballtown they are still a very large part of the experience during a visit to the ballpark," said Chuck Domino, president of Baseballtown Charities. "It seems natural and right that the personification of a hot dog should be the symbolic figure of Baseballtown to appropriately celebrate its role in the long, rich and appetizing history of Baseballtown's best - the Reading Phillies."
The innovative Baseballtown look was brought to life at Brandiose in San Diego, where partners Jason Klein and Casey White work alongside teams in order to celebrate their brand stories. Over the years, Brandiose has been responsible for some of the most eye-catching logos and gear across sports. In Baseballtown's case, partners Klein and White decided to honor the hot dog, an iconic representative of the Baseballtown and Reading Phillies experience, with an unnamed hot dog character featured in the logo.
"Throughout Reading's storied baseball history, no other food item served at the ballpark has made the Baseballtown experience more complete other than the hot dog," said R-Phils General Manager Scott Hunsicker. "With mascots we already have like the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, the re-branding of the Baseballtown logo is a natural fit for the Reading Phillies and Baseballtown Charities. Now we just need the citizens of Baseballtown to help us find the right name for this hot dog character!"
Fans will be invited to select the new character's name via the Reading Eagle website from Monday, January 23 through Wed, February 1. On Sunday, February 5, the top five finalists will be revealed in the Reading Eagle, where readers will be directed to vote for their favorite name. The winning name will be announced on Monday, February 13th at the Dog Days of Winter food show at the Reading Crowne Plaza Hotel, with the winner receiving a Baseballtown gift package.
"Baseballtown is one of the most magical places in the sports world and is up there with the legendary sport destinations of our time," said Brandiose's Klein. "It's a place where fun meets fighting spirit, and we're honored to have collaborated with our good friends at the R-Phils to dream up the Baseballtown look."
The new Baseballtown logo will also play an important role during this summer's Baseballtown All-Star Classic, with players from each team wearing jerseys honoring the baseball tradition of Reading.
Baseballtown Charities, a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity, was launched ten years ago in association with the Reading Phillies in order to keep baseball alive in Reading through charitable donations to underprivileged youth, who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to play baseball. The organization was also founded to pay tribute to Reading's rich baseball history.
Since its inception in 2002, the Baseballtown trademark has played a necessary part in the baseball community of Berks County. Under the Baseballtown namesake, FirstEnergy Stadium has played host to the High School All-Star Game and the Olivet's Boy's and Girl's Club Championship. Each year, the organization crowns the King or Queen of Baseballtown to honor the past by recognizing that individual's accomplishments and contributions to baseball/softball.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment the organization has overtaken was the construction of Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer's Park in 2006. Through contributions exceeding $900,000, the youth ballpark was built in a neighborhood that is quickly returning to its glory days. It sits on the grounds of Lauer's Park Elementary School, named for the former stadium where Babe Ruth and Shoeless Joe Jackson both played. The original housed several professional teams and hosted barnstorming tours from 1907-1941. Reading's own baseball legend, the late "Broadway" Charlie Wagner, former Red Sox pitcher and roommate of Ted Williams, began his career there.
Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer's Park was built by Baseballtown Charities and is the home field of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club's RBI leagues and the school. Hoodak is the current and long-time principal of Lauer's Park Elementary School in the Reading School District, and has dedicated his adult life to youth and education.